Kalamazoo will have a new mayor in November. Bobby Hopewell is not running for re-election this fall after 12 years as Kalamazoo’s mayor. Three candidates, David Anderson, David Benac and Estevan Juarez participated in a forum on Tuesday October 22nd. It was sponsored by WMUK, Western Michigan University’s Institute of Government and Politics and WeVote, a WMU group dedicated to voter registration. (Advisory: on the discussion of marijuana one of the candidates utters a profanity twice. This happens for the first time about 36:45 into the forum).
Many of the questions for the candidates were submitted online before the event. Those attending the forum Tuesday night in Western Michigan University’s Schneider Hall also had the opportunity to suggest a question.
Issues discussed during the forum included affordable housing, economic development, the city's response to climate change, infrastructure and regulation of marijuana related businesses in Kalamazoo.
Kalamazoo voters will elect the new mayor to a two year term. There are also three seats up for election on the Kalamazoo City Commission this year. There will be at least two new members of the commission. One of the seats up for election has been held by Anderson, another by Don Cooney who is not running for re-election. The three commissioners winning election in November will serve four year terms. A forum for city commission candidates was held October 1st. It can be found here.